Charles Mingus: Triumph of the Underdog is the first comprehensive documentary about the jazz bassist, bandleader and composer who led a life filled with tumult, joy and frustration.
He was an outcast in American society who chartered his own path with a mixed ancestry of Chinese, Swedish, African-American.
Radical yet deeply traditional, Mingus' music took elements from gospel and blues through New Orleans jazz, swing, bop, Latin music, modern classical music, even the jazz avant-garde. His legacy far exceeds beyond conventional jazz idioms.
His touchstone was Duke Ellington, and he apprenticed with Duke. But he also played with legends Lionel Hampton and Charlie Parker, before striking out as a unique
force for more than a decade. Interest in his music waned in the mid-60's, when the rock era was at its height and shortly after Mingus was institutionalised due to psychological problems.
Upon his return he experienced renewed success but unfortunately died in 1979.
Nine years in the making this documentary has been exhaustively researched and virtually everything used in the film is extraordinarily rare. It is a complete portrait that shows the many faces and tortured heart of a musical genius.
"Fascinating" -- TIME OUT
"Absolutely do not miss." -- BLUES & SOUL
"One of the finest documentaries of a jazz musician ever made." -- LONDON OBSERVOR